Hope Hicks Was Spotted on Air Force One with Trump

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Sam Dangremond, Caroline Hallemann
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Photo credit: MANDEL NGAN - Getty Images
Photo credit: MANDEL NGAN - Getty Images

From Town & Country

  • Former White House Communications Director Hope Hicks was spotted arriving in Columbus, Ohio on Air Force One alongside Trump.

  • Hicks spent time with her family in Greenwich after leaving her White House role on March 29 and was reportedly looking for a job in New York City.

  • It's unclear at this point why she was traveling with the President.

  • Hicks came under scrutiny after she told House Intelligence Committee panel members investigating Russia's interference in the 2016 election that she occasionally told "white lies" for President Donald Trump but had not lied about anything related to the Russia investigation.

  • Hicks, 29, started working with President Trump when he was a candidate. The Trump campaign was her first political job.

Hope Hicks stepped down from her role as White House communications director on March 29, ending her longstanding professional relationship with the Trump family.

Since then, she has reportedly been spending time with her family in Greenwich, Connecticut, but on August 4, she was seen arriving in Columbus, Ohio on Air Force One with Trump. At this point, it's unclear why she was traveling with the President.

Here are a few things you should know about her.

Hicks was reportedly back in New York City and looking for a job.

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

"She’s being wooed by a number of major companies," Page Six reported in early July. While there had been rumors Hicks might replace General John Kelly as President Trump's chief of staff, a source told the New York Post's gossip column that although "Hope is very loyal to Trump, and remains friendly with Ivanka ... it doesn’t look like she’s going back to the White House."

March 29 was Hicks's last day at the White House.

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

Photographers snapped President Trump saying goodbye to Hicks outside the Oval Office.

Before she announced her resignation, Hicks told the House Intelligence Committee Panel that she has told "white lies" for President Trump.

Hicks was interviewed for nine hours yesterday by the panel investigating Russia's interference in the 2016 election and contact between Trump’s campaign and Russia. She acknowledged that she has occasionally told "white lies" for Trump, but said she has not lied about anything relevant to the Russia investigation, according to those present for the closed-door testimony.

Photo credit: Chip Somodevilla - Getty Images
Photo credit: Chip Somodevilla - Getty Images

She played an unusually visible role in the Porter debacle.

In Early February, White House staff secretary Rob Porter resigned after two of his ex-wives detailed physical abuse they suffered. Porter has denied the allegations and was initially supported by White House Chief of Staff John Kelly. Hicks had a hand in drafting a statement from Kelly, despite the fact that Hicks herself is allegedly romantically involved with Porter. The tide turned against Porter when it was revealed that White House officials have known for months about the allegations and that a year into the administration, Porter still does not have security clearance.

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

CNN reported that Hicks continued to privately defend Porter to her colleagues after he resigned, and that Trump has grown frustrated with the once-untouchable Hicks: "Trump has told associates he feels that Hicks put her own priorities ahead of his. However, there is little to indicate that Hicks' standing is in jeopardy."

Hicks was caught up in Mueller's Russia investigation for some time.

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

As part of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, Special Counsel Robert Mueller appears to be probing further into a 2016 meeting at Trump Tower between campaign officials, including Donald Trump Jr., and several Russians with ties to the government, including lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya.

When news of that meeting got out in July 2017, the president himself worked with Hicks, his son Donald Jr. and other advisors to draft a statement, ultimately issued in Donald Jr.'s name, which characterized the campaign meeting as "a short introductory meeting" that was "primarily" about Russian adoption.

Mark Corallo, a former spokesperson for President Trump's legal team who resigned last July, reportedly told Mueller "about a previously undisclosed conference call with Mr. Trump and Hope Hicks," in which Hicks said emails written by Donald Trump Jr. about the meeting "will never get out," the New York Timesreported on January 31.

That comment reportedly "left Mr. Corallo with concerns that Ms. Hicks could be contemplating obstructing justice," an that accusation Hicks's lawyer denies.

"As most reporters know, it’s not my practice to comment in response to questions from the media. But this warrants a response," lawyer Robert P. Trout said in a statement. "She never said that. And the idea that Hope Hicks ever suggested that emails or other documents would be concealed or destroyed is completely false."

Hicks herself interviewed by Mueller's team last December.

Before the end of her White House tenure, Hicks largely remained an enigma.

Though she's a gatekeeper to members of the press who want access to Trump, she's made very few public appearances herself. She tends to stay behind the camera, advising her boss on press strategy. Last December, though, she made a rare public appearance at a Trump victory rally in Mobile, Alabama when the president-elect invited the then-28-year-old onstage.

She grew up in the tony New York City suburb of Greenwich, Connecticut.

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

Hicks swam at Greenwich Country Club, was co­-captain of the lacrosse team at Greenwich High School, and played lacrosse all four years in college.

She also worked as a model.

At 11, she and her sister were hired for a Ralph Lauren campaign. She appeared on the cover of a Gossip Girl series offshoot and was also tapped as the face of the Hourglass Adventures, a set of novels about a time-traveling 10­-year-­old. (Hicks is still featured in the books' online portal.)

Photo credit: Little, Brown And Company
Photo credit: Little, Brown And Company

And did some acting.

Hicks had a cameo on Guiding Light.

She comes from a family well-versed in politics and public relations.

Her parents met while they were working on Capitol Hill-her mother as legislative aide for a democrat from Tennessee and her father as chief of staff for a republican congressman from Connecticut. Her father, Paul Hicks III, served as CEO of the Americas for Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide and as executive vice president of communications and public affairs for the National Football League before starting his current job as managing director of the Glover Park Group. Her late grandfather, Paul Hicks, was in charge of public relations for Texaco.

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

She spent time in Texas.

Hicks attended Southern Methodist University, where, one of her lacrosse coaches said, she was one of the only players to abide by the no-alcohol policy.

She's a team player.

Liz Holmes, one of her SMU coaches, told the Washington Post that "she is highly intelligent and brought that to the field in every game." And while "when needed, she carried the team and would score, [she] preferred to have assists."

In 2012, two years after graduating from SMU, she began working at a public relations firm in New York.

Hiltzik Strategies, her employer at the time, worked with Ivanka Trump and the Trump Organization (its founder, Mathew Hiltzik, is known as a Democratic insider and has worked Hillary Clinton). In August 2014, the Trump organization brought her in-house. There, she handled PR for Ivanka Trump's fashion line (here's a street-style shoot she posed for) and a few Trump resorts, according to New York magazine.

Photo credit: Harnik/AP/REX/Shutterstock
Photo credit: Harnik/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Donald Trump brought her on to lead communications for his campaign.

She was the "chief conduit to the candidate for hundreds of reporters," the Boston Globe's Matt Viser wrote for T&C. "Hope's been involved from the beginning, and she has been absolutely terrific," the then-president elect told GQ.

But until that time, she hadn't worked in politics.

GQcalled her "a registered but dispassionate Republican since 2008 [who] had never so much as volunteered on a campaign."

While she helped Trump by taking dictation for his tweets during the campaign, you won't find her on Twitter.

Unless you count the parody account @HicksNoComment, which satirizes Hicks's lack of responsiveness.

Photo credit: Harnik/AP/REX/Shutterstock
Photo credit: Harnik/AP/REX/Shutterstock

She is well-liked by both her bosses and reporters.

"Hope Hicks is incredible,'' onetime Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort (who himself has been indicted by Mueller on 12 felony counts including money laundering, false statements and other acts of conspiracy against the U.S.) told the Hartford Courant. "She has shown incredible depth and breadth. I would never know this [was] her first campaign. She has an incredible skill set in dealing with the media.''

Maggie Haberman, a New York Times political correspondent, echoed the sentiment: "I have always found Hope to be great to deal with," Haberman told GQ, "especially given the volume of requests she must be getting."

She's lived in a Trump apartment.

Hicks has a sister, Mary Grace, with whom she lived in Greenwich, but before she moved to Washington after the inauguration she lived in a Trump building in New York City when she was not traveling.

Maybe she always had an inkling things she would end up in Washington one day.

"If the acting thing doesn't work out," Hicks told Greenwich magazine when she was 13, "I could really see myself in politics. Who knows?"

Related Video: A Supercut of All of Paul Manafort's Questionable Exploits

With reporting from the Associated Press

 

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